READING: 1 Chronicles 11:10-13:14, John 18:15-40
Uzzah had died.
He died because he reached out and touched the ark of the covenant as it likely shifted when the oxen carrying it stumbled. The Word is clear that Uzzah died at the hands of God: “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him dead because he had reached out to the ark. So he died there in the presence of God” (1 Chron 13:10).
Surely this judgment seemed dramatic, drastic, and perhaps even “over the top”—except when one thinks about the holiness of God. He had given the word that only the Levites could carry the ark, and then only by poles. Numbers 4:15 also makes it clear that the judgment for wrongly touching the holy things (like the ark) would be death. Treating them flippantly, even when well-intentioned and reactionary, would still bring God’s wrath as He kept His word. To take lightly His holy things was to take Him lightly.
I fear that we, too, sometimes fail to regard the significance of the holiness of God. We simply cannot stand in His holy presence, were it not for God’s loving intervention in our lives through Christ and His Spirit. Only in Christ are we made holy.
PRAYER: “God, forgive me when I don’t consider enough Your holiness.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Chronicles 14-16, John 19:1-30